Pilot scheme will see GPs look at patients in A&E

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A PILOT scheme devised to ease pressure on Queen Alexandra Hospital’s emergency department could see GPs based there.

A report by Alex Berry, chief commissioning officer for the Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, which is in charge of paying for health services in the area, was presented at the trust’s governing board meeting.

The report said between 2012-13, there were 132,118 attendances – around 300 per day.

As a result Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, is struggling to meet its four-hour target of seeing patients arriving in casualty.

Mrs Berry said: ‘People go to A&E because they think it is appropriate and often aren’t aware of other options for urgent care.

‘There is a recognition that primary care must play a role in addressing the needs of patients within any system change introduced.’

The proposal is to introduce an urgent care centre in A&E.

All patients who come into casualty, except those who need major care, will be directed to GPs or nurses, who will be in QA.

The idea is people will be diagnosed, and given medicine if needed, or given advice on how to self-care. This information is then fed back to the patient’s GP.

It is hoped to reduce the number of people taking up beds in A&E, and should make sure that patients are referred to the right service.

The service is set to run during peak hours of A&E attendance, seven days a week,

The pilot is expected to run from the end of September for 18 months.

No extra funding will be available to commission the scheme. The final details of the scheme are still being worked on, and no official launch date has been given.

The CCG is still advising people only to go to A&E if it is a genuine medical emergency.

For urgent care, people need to make an appointment with their GP, see a pharmacist, or go to a walk-in centre or minor-injuries unit.

The NHS 111 number is available for advice and help 24 hours a day.